Redskins Football: Mayor of D.C. Claims Team Name Is Racist

Emily O'Neill ElmerCorrespondent IIJanuary 9, 2013

LANDOVER, MD - JANUARY 06:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins walks off of the field injured in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks during the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at FedExField on January 6, 2013 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The mayor of Washington, D.C., has a bone to pick with the Washington Redskins. There has been a lot of talk lately about bringing the team back inside the city limits of D.C.—their current field is nearby in Maryland—but district mayor Vincent Gray says he has one condition before the Redskins return.

During a press conference today, the mayor took issue with the name Redskins, telling Mike DeBonis of the Washington Post “I think that if they get serious with the team coming back to Washington, there’s no doubt there’s going to have to be a discussion about [changing the team's name], and of course the team is going to have to work with us around that issue.”

Gray continued, “I think it has become a lightning rod, and I would love to be able to sit down with the team...and see if a change should be made. There’s a precedent for this, and I think there needs to be a dispassionate discussion about this, and do the right thing.”

Mayor Gray noted that several sports teams, including the Washington Wizards—who changed their name from the Washington Bullets in 1997—have changed their names to be less controversial. 

The federal government does have some say in the matter. They control the land in D.C. where the future stadium would be built. 

The teams current moniker has been criticized for decades due to its racial insensitivity, but  team owners Jack Kent Cooke and Daniel Snyder, have been resistant to change.

While the name change would be a no-brainer to some, a recent poll on TMZ shows that 74 percent of the over 25,000 people polled do not believe the name should be changed. 

It appears the issue will come to a head if the team does in fact go through with the move.  

What do you think, Bleacher Report readers? Should the team change its name? Tell us in the comments below